A water softener will greatly improve your water if you have iron, manganese or hard water minerals present in your water. These contaminants found in Boxborough water can be removed with a water softener and/or a properly specified sediment filter depending on whether the contaminants are in solution or particulate form. The main hard water minerals found are magnesium and calcium (the hardness minerals), while iron and manganese (often referred to as “the stainers”) are also commonly found in Boxborough, MA water. If other impurities are detected in the water test, they can be removed with other types of water filtration systems. A water test and analysis will chart a course of action.
WATER SOFTENER SYSTEM
Water softeners vary, including up-flow versus down-flow which can make a big difference if there are elevated levels of iron or manganese in the water. In some cases, a different type of water filtration system may make more sense to remove iron or manganese.
Hard water can cause a residue to build-up in pipes that can lower water pressure throughout the house. Hard water interferes with almost every cleaning task, from doing the laundry to washing dishes to taking a shower. Washing your hair in hard water may leave it feeling sticky and dull. Clothes can look dingy and feel rough and scratchy. Dishes and glasses get spotted and a film may build up on shower doors, bathtubs, sinks and faucets.
Calcium and magnesium can have devastating affects on your home’s plumbing as well as your ability to clean, even though the EPA has no published limits on these. The EPA maximum allowable level for iron as a secondary contaminant is .3 parts per million and for manganese is .05 parts per million as a secondary contaminant. Small amounts of these minerals can have very noticeable, even devastating affects on your home’s water quality.
The following chart identifies hard water levels. Compare your test results:
OTHER AFFECTS FROM HARD WATER, IRON & MANGANESE
Scale from hard water can build-up inside water heaters insulating the temperature sensor inside the tank creating extra work to bring the temperature up to the set level. This reduces the life of your hot water heater and will likely require early replacement. Some other affects of these contaminants include corrosion and scaling inside pipes and major staining throughout the home’s showers, bathtubs, and sinks. For those using their well water for outside lawn irrigation, iron and manganese can cause major staining of outside walkways, house siding and anyplace the water touches. See the link at lawn-irrigation/.
WHAT WILL A WATER SOFTENER DO?
A water softener is effective in removing dissolved forms of iron & manganese and hardness minerals. To remove particulate iron or manganese, water filtration utilizing a cartridge filter with proper micron rating will be effective. Depending on the specific situation, this could require a series of filters with different size micron ratings to handle heavier levels in the water. Selecting the appropriate micron rating and style of filter can be determined by a water treatment professional based on water test results and other symptoms. For more information on Iron and Manganese in water, see our published articles in Water Technology Magazine at the following link: http://h2ocare.com/publications/.
A water softener will not remove the health threats Radon and Arsenic which may be found in Boxborough, MA private well water and will require different water filtration technologies. Radon can be safely removed with an aeration system that agitates the incoming well water, releasing the gas from the water in a sealed chamber, then venting it to the outside ambient air. Arsenic in water can be removed at the point of entry into the home with tanks filled with arsenic specific resin that captures the arsenic before it can get into the home’s water supply. Point of use systems for drinking water can use reverse osmosis technology to effectively remove arsenic. Speak to a water treatment professional to decide which system is right for you. For more information on what hard water is, see the link at https://water.usgs.gov/edu/hardness.html.